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Alumni Awards Presented at College Commencement

D.E. Rightmire, Distinguished Alumnus Award recipient, left%3B and James A. Asbury, Alumnus Achievement Award recipient.Pennsylvania College of Technology presented a Distinguished Alumnus Award to D.E. Rightmire and an Alumnus Achievement Award to James A. Asbury during commencement ceremonies Saturday at the Community Arts Center in Williamsport.

Rightmire, who divides his time between residences in Lapeer, Mich., and Proctor, received the Distinguished Alumnus Award for 2006 during the morning ceremony.

The Distinguished Alumnus/Alumna Award is given annually in recognition of personal and professional accomplishments, contributions toward furthering the efforts of the college, and the high regard in which the recipient is held in the community.

Asbury, of Mansfield, received the 2006 Alumnus Achievement Award during the afternoon ceremony.

The Alumnus/Alumna Achievement Award is presented annually to a Penn College graduate from the past 10 years. It recognizes noteworthy career accomplishments that demonstrate the importance of a Penn College education and recognizes graduates who continue to support the mission of the college.

Rightmire attended Penn College forerunner Williamsport Technical Institute through the National Youth Administration Program, which paid him 20 cents an hour to study drafting. He completed 1,000 hours of training in 1942, taught by faculty including Kenneth E. Carl, who later became president of Penn College predecessor Williamsport Area Community College.

Afterward, Rightmire went to work for Bell Aircraft in the engineering department. After serving in the Air Force in the Pacific Theater during World War II, he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Syracuse University. He then went to work for General Motors in Pontiac, Mich., working in a number of positions before retiring in 1980 as a senior divisional buyer in product engineering. He remains active with church and community organizations.

Asbury, owner-operator of Mansfield-based Mountaineer Stone, received an associate degree in business management from Penn College in 2002. Using the knowledge gained while earning his degree and serving in leadership roles with student organizations, Asbury established his own business while still enrolled at Penn College. Today, his company has customers across the nation, including owners of Fortune 500 companies and government contractors.

His most challenging project to date was a one-of-a-kind, dry-stone loop called the “Tribute to Knowledge” a project built at the entrance to the college’s Schneebeli Earth Science Center in conjunction with Penn College landscaping and masonry students. He also helped to reconstruct two dry-stone walls in Virginia at the site of the Battle of Fredericksburg. Asbury has passed certification tests from the Dry Stone Walling Association of Great Britain and has written articles for Garden Design Magazine and Traditional Building. Currently, he is working on a book about his experiences.

The Alumni Relations Office also presents Mentorship Awards at August commencement and Alumni Citizenship/Humanitarian Awards at December commencement.

For more information about Alumni Relations at Penn College, call toll-free (877) PCT-ALUM, send e-mail or visit online.

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